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Living in a joint family we have 3 internet connections, each floor has one internet connection which is split per floor. Each internet connection is shared between 4-5 computers using a switch per floor. Each of these internet sharing networks are independent of each other.

What I want to achieve here is a local network (for local messenger and file sharing) that can combine all the 3 independent networks, problem is that whenever I try to do that the whole network tends to use just one internet connection. I have all the necessary hardware.

How do I solve this problem, one approach could be that I could get one PC to act as a server and bridge the internet connections and then the whole network would have to access the internet through this server. Theoretically this could be possible but I have never tried this approach in real life.

Also if certain computers need be restricted from internet access how would this be possible on the same network?


Edit: Also can I remote into any of the computers on the network to troubleshoot common issues

(like grandma deleting the Firefox shortcut for the nth time and screaming "Google does not work any more")

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What have you tried specifically? –  Holocryptic Apr 29 '10 at 22:38
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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

How about setting everyone in 1 subnet for easy communication between computers, but put every floor on different gateway.

You can set only one default gateway on the computer so the particular device will use only one internet connection (the one that you specify).

Specific example:

Gateway 1: 172.17.1.1

Gateway 2: 172.17.1.2

Gateway 3: 172.17.1.3

Now just set everyone statically (assuming that you don't have dhcp server available) and:

1st floor = gateway 1

2nd floor = gateway 2 .. and so on :D

To restrict someone access to the internet just don't set the default gateway, give them normal user account, and disable changing network settings OR block their ip on all the gateways :) (one will be enough, but if they change the gateway - they will have inet access again ;)

If you want to have more control over your network (play a little with networking :), and have some old computer lying arround look at pfSense - it's a freeBSD based router with web configuration. You would probably just need to but addition network card. You can connect all 3 wans, and route traffic based on IP.

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Do I have to change the default gateway on each independent router? –  rzlines Apr 30 '10 at 12:40
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@Rogue the router internal IP address is your gateway. –  Holocryptic Apr 30 '10 at 14:55
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@Rogue correct. You would change the IP address of the router. –  Holocryptic Apr 30 '10 at 21:30
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@Rouge - yes, you need to set the IP I called "Gateway 1" as your 1st router LAN interface address. Router's gateway should be provided by your ISP. –  kyrisu Apr 30 '10 at 21:34
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@Rouge No you don't. What do you have on your provider side doesn't matter in this case. –  kyrisu May 1 '10 at 19:47
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Three internet connections seems a bit of a waste (I can understand two)... but assuming you really need all three, I would suggest getting a multi-WAN router. Such a device should be able to do a "poor man's load balancing" where whatever internet connection has the least traffic gets the next request. It won't "join" the three connections - but it should give you the maximum available bandwidth on all systems. It should also provide redundancy so that if any of the three goes down, the other(s) are used until it's restored. Business class routers and some Unified Threat Management (UTMs) devices should offer this ability. Products like those from Fortinet. They aren't cheap (as compared to a home router), but they can be quite useful. And there are other products if you look.

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Take a look at this. It gives an overview and advice about multi-homing your network setup.

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Look into virtual networking solutions like LogMeIn's Hamachi

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